A systems approach provides a framework to analyze errors and improve safety. This study uses the Systems Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) to analyze risks related to pediatric sepsis treatment process. Fifty-four safety recommendations were identified, the majority of which were organizational factors (e.g., communication, organizational culture).
Pilosof NP, Barrett M, Oborn E, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:8391.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes in healthcare delivery. Based on semi-structured interviews and direct observations, researchers evaluated the impact of a new model of remote inpatient care using telemedicine technologies in response to the pandemic. Intensive care and internal medicine units were divided into contaminated and clean zones and an integrated control room with audio-visual technologies allowed for remote supervision, communication, and support. The authors conclude that this model can increase flexibility in staffing via remote consultations and allow staff to supervise and monitor more patients without compromising patient and staff safety.
Bulliard J‐L, Beau A‐B, Njor S, et al. Int J Cancer. 2021;149:846-853.
Overdiagnosis of breast cancer and the resulting overtreatment can cause physical, emotional, and financial harm to patients. Analysis of observational data and modelling indicates overdiagnosis accounts for less than 10% of invasive breast cancer in patients aged 50-69. Understanding rates of overdiagnosis can assist in ascertaining the net benefit of breast cancer screening.
Linguistic, culture, and health literacy barriers between patients and providers can lead to adverse events. In addition to the use of professional interpreters, the authors suggest additional culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) to improve communication between patients, particularly refugees and migrants, and providers.
Jaam M, Naseralallah LM, Hussain TA, et al. PLoS One. 2021;16:e0253588.
Including pharmacists can improve patient safety across the medication prescribing continuum. This review identified twelve pharmacist-led educational interventions aimed at improving medication safety. The phase, educational strategy, patient population, and audience varied across studies; however most showed some reductions in medication errors.
Chang T-P, Bery AK, Wang Z, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:96-106.
A missed or delayed diagnosis of stroke increases the risk of permanent disability or death. This retrospective study compared rates of misdiagnosed stroke in patients presenting to general care or specialty care who were initially diagnosed with “benign dizziness”. Patients with dizziness who presented to general care were more likely to be misdiagnosed than those presenting to specialty care. Interventions to improve stroke diagnosis in emergency departments may also be successful in general care clinics.
Amit Aharon A, Fariba M, Shoshana F, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2021;30:3290-3300.
Patient suicide attempts or completions can have negative psychological impacts on the nurses involved. This mixed-methods study found a significant association between emotional distress and feeling alone with absenteeism and higher staff turnover. Healthcare organizations should develop support programs for second victims to increase resiliency and potentially decrease absenteeism and turnover.
Shao Q, Wang Y, Hou K, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2021;77:4005-4016.
Patient suicide in all settings is considered a never event. Nurses caring for the patient may experience negative psychological symptoms following inpatient suicide. This review identified five themes based on nurses’ psychological experiences: emotional experience, cognitive experience, coping strategies, self-reflection, and impact on self and practice. Hospital administrators should develop education and support programs to help nurses cope in the aftermath of inpatient suicide.
Kakemam E, Chegini Z, Rouhi A, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2021;29:1974-1982.
Clinician burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased sense of accomplishment, can result in worse patient safety outcomes. This study explores the association of nurse burnout and self-reported occurrence of adverse events during COVID-19. Results indicate higher levels of nurse burnout were correlated with increased perception of adverse events, such as patient and family verbal abuse, medication errors, and patient and family complaints. Recommendations for decreasing burnout include access to psychosocial support and human factors approaches.
Li Q, Hu P, Kang H, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;25:492-500.
Missed and delayed diagnosis are a known cause of preventable adverse events. In this cohort of 107 patients with severe or critical COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 45% developed acute kidney injury (AKI). However, nearly half of those patients (46%) were not diagnosed during their stay in the hospital. Patients with undiagnosed AKI experienced greater hospital mortality than those without AKI or diagnosed AKI. Involvement of intensive care kidney specialists is recommended to increase diagnostic awareness.
Panda N, Sinyard RD, Henrich N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:256-263.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for the healthcare workforce, including redeploying personnel to different locations or retraining personnel for different tasks. Researchers interviewed hospital leaders from health systems in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea about redeployment of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors discuss effective practices and lessons learned preparing for and executing workforce redeployment, as well as concerns regarding redeployed personnel
Denning M, Goh ET, Tan B, et al. PLoS One. 2021;16:e0238666.
This cross-sectional study conducted from March to June 2020 measured anxiety, depression, and burnout in clinicians working in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Singapore. Approximately 70% of respondents reported feeling anxious, depressed and/or burnt out. Burnout was significantly inversely correlated with being tested for COVID-19 and perceiving high levels of safety. These findings highlight the importance of supporting staff well-being and proactive COVID-19 testing.
The relationship between resident and physician duty hours and patient safety has been the focus of a lot of research. The relationship between nurse work schedules and patient safety is less explored. This review investigated the effect of extended or excessive nurse schedules on patient outcomes. Findings conclude that working more than 12 hours daily or more than 40 hours weekly may contribute to adverse patient outcomes. The authors recommend creating policies restricting nurse shifts to no more than 12 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
Goh HS, Tan V, Chang J, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;36:e63-e68.
Incident reporting systems are a common method for hospitals to detect patient safety events, but prior research has questioned whether these systems improve outcomes. Conducted in a nursing home, this study found that an existing incident reporting system redesigned to facilitate double-loop learning could improve nurses’ patient safety awareness and workplace practices, which could improve patient outcomes and safety.
Koike D, Nomura Y, Nagai M, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:522-530.
Nontechnical skills are gaining interest as one way to enhance surgical team performance and patient safety. In this single-center study, the authors found that a perioperative bundle that introduced nontechnical skills to the surgical team was effective in reducing operative time.
Sharara-Chami R, Sabouneh R, Zeineddine R, et al. Simul Healthc. 2020;15:303-309.
Simulation training is used by hospitals to improve patient care. This article describes the use of a preparedness assessment and training intervention featuring in situ simulations followed by debriefing to prepare staff for challenges arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Observations and debriefings identified several latent safety threats related to infection control, leadership, and communication.
Leviatan I, Oberman B, Zimlichman E, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1074-1080.
Human factors, such as cognitive load, are main contributors to prescribing errors. This study assessed the relationship between medication prescribing errors and a physician’s workload, successive work shifts, and prescribing experience. The researchers reviewed presumed medication errors flagged by a computerized decision support system (CDSS) in acute care settings (excluding intensive care units) and found that longer hours and less experience in prescribing specific medications increased the risk of prescribing errors.
Jang S, Jeong S, Kang E, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2020;30:17-27.
Older patients are at greater risk of experiencing adverse drug events and recent efforts have focused on avoiding prescribing high-risk medications to these patients. This study found that while implementation of a nationwide prospective drug utilization review lowered some potentially inappropriate medication prescribing among older adults in South Korea, there were no statistically significant changes in prescribing trends.
Smart pumps are considered a valuable method to improve medication safety. This study used smart pump medication logs and reporting software to identify cancelled infusions and resolutions of infusions alerts to characterize near-miss infusion pump errors. The study identified a high number of lookalike-soundalike near-miss errors. Analyses indicate that incorrect medication and wrong dose selections account for approximately 22% of all cancelled infusions.
Naseralallah LM, Hussain TA, Jaam M, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2020;42:979-994.
Pediatric patients are particularly vulnerable to medication errors. In this systematic review, the authors evaluated the evidence on the effectiveness of clinical pharmacist interventions on medication error rates in hospitalized pediatric patients. Results of a meta-analysis found that pharmacist involvement was associated with a significant reduction in the overall rate of medication errors in this population.
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